Tag archives for mountaineering

After Two Years of Deadly Everest Avalanches, Nepal Introduces New Safety Measures

On the morning of April 23, a helicopter hovered over Everest Base Camp then ripped northward through the air, flying over the great Khumbu Icefall, which creaked and groaned under the warming sunshine. As the dust settled and the helicopter engine din grew faint, many Nepali mountain workers back at Base Camp breathed a sigh of…

Can Two Climbers Improve Everest’s Bad Reputation?

The reputation of the world’s highest mountain has never been lower. Like today’s most heated political debates, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to discussions about Everest. People are divided at polar extremes over whether Everest and all its aspirants represent everything great about humanity—or all that is wrong with it.…

Himalaya Scribe: ‘I Frighten a Lot of People’

The most intimidating person in Himalayan mountaineering is a 92-year-old American woman with a walker. Elizabeth Hawley (most often addressed as Miss Hawley) has lived in Kathmandu for nearly as long as Nepal has been open to foreigners. She was the first to keep good records of Himalayan expeditions and soon became the de facto…

After Two Deadly Years, Everest Climbers Gear Up for a Strong Season

Nepal has had the worst year imaginable. But even after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, political unrest that resulted in a five-month blockade, and the two deadliest years in the history of climbing on Mount Everest, this spring’s expedition season is set to be as busy as ever. Ang Kami Sherpa, 63, just arrived at Everest Base…

Climbers Make History Scaling ‘Killer Mountain’

A multinational team of three climbers reached the summit of Nanga Parbat in Pakistan around 3:40 p.m. on February 26, signifying the first time the 8,126-meter (26,660-foot) mountain has been climbed in winter. Since 1988, at least 30 different expeditions comprised of some of the most experienced alpinists in the world have tried and failed to…

How a Longtime Patagonia Climber Just Had His Best Season. Ever.

In the last two months, Colin Haley, 31, has squeezed in a lifetime’s worth of cutting-edge Patagonia alpinism. He’s logged speed records, solo records, and first ascents on virtually every major formation in Patagonia. When pioneering climbers Yvon Chouinard, Dick Dorworth, Lito Tejada-Flores, and the late Doug Tompkins, enjoyed their epic 1968 road trip from California…

This Sherpa Woman Is Our Adventurer of the Year

Adventure is sometimes criticized as being selfish—the pursuits of privileged people with time to burn. At National Geographic, our definition of adventure is a broad one, spanning exploration and conservation, the pushing of the boundaries of human potential, cultural boundary breaking, community building, and humanitarianism. Our 2016 Adventurer of the Year honorees reflect this diversity, from…

An “Old Bold” Climber Tackles a Bold New Route in Nepal

On the eve of his latest expedition, Conrad Anker explains why there’s a lot more to mountaineering than egos and competitiveness. There’s an old climbing proverb that goes something like this: “There are old climbers and there are bold climbers, but there are no old bold climbers.” Like most proverbs that have stood the test of…

Everest’s Only Climber to Start Summit Push Tomorrow

Update: Nobukazu Kuriki decided to turn around on his attempt to summit Mount Everest. He has now returned to base camp. Learn more here. Japanese mountaineer Nobukazu Kuriki could become the only person to summit Mount Everest this year. The 33-year-old prefers to climb alone, without supplemental oxygen, and in the off-season of autumn—and he has lost nine…

Veterans Climb North America’s Tallest Peak to Heal the Wounds of War

Update: Writer Chris Kassar just won gold for this story in the 2015 North American Travel Journalists Association awards. Congrats to all involved! Eight puffy figures tethered together by two neon orange ropes creep slowly and methodically along a snow-covered ridge, barely a boot-width across. Each team member carefully places one foot in front of the…